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The Key Advantage Of A Telescopic Flettner Rotor

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By Author: Nicolas Brown
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The Flettner ship or the rotor ship is primarily designed for propulsion, using the Magnus effect. For making the most out of this effect, it utilizes the rotor sails. The Magnus effect in reality is a thrust which operates over a spinning device towards the direction of the wind. Anton Flettner, a German engineer was the first to design such a ship by using the principle of propulsion.


Flettner's concept worked, however the force of propulsion generated was found a lot less than the normal motor. With the help of Ludwig Prandtl, Jacob Ackeret, and Albert Betz, Anton Flettner manufactured a rotor vessel in the year 1924. And it proved to be quite a good invention. The rotors proved their worth even in the stormiest of weathers. However, one inherent flaw was soon discovered in the system of rotor. It showed lesser efficiency compared to the conventional engines.

However, the key advantage of a telescopic flettner rotor lies hidden in its ability to get collapsed or folded, especially at the time of navigating in the restricted areas or during discharging and loading operations. ...
... The flettner rotors are a lot more efficient and effective than the traditional sails. The science working behind the Flettner Rotor is a well researched one. Nowadays, more advanced researches are been made by the scientists for optimizing its application and design.

The Rotor Ship or the Wind Ship designed by Anton Flettner got a curious welcome in the United States. Due to its practical importance, the telescopic flettner rotor received praise form none other than Dr. Albert Einstein himself. From the year 1926 till 1945, Flettner remained the president of Anton Flettner Aircraft Corporation located in Berlin. The corporation manufactured helicopters for Hitler during the World War II. These helicopters used two rotors, the blades of which intermeshed just like the egg beaters. This improvement was extensively used by the manufacturers of America.


After the end of World War II, Flettner got in touch with the US Army for providing a new idea with helicopters. Theoretically, the helicopters are ideal for the short transportation of military troops. And the fact that they do not require airfields is also a big plus. However, the major difficulty with Flettner's helicopters lied in rotor gear box. It was not long enough as it should have been to the liking of some of the military leaders. Also the gear box did not show signs for lasting a longer period of time. This was a major disadvantage.

However, Flettner managed to tackle the problem with yet another brilliant idea. In the year 1954, he came up with another new design of the helicopter. It had the capacity to accommodate forty people. And the best thing was the power usage of the engine; it was almost twenty percent less than the previous model. This allowed less usage of the rotor gears. According to Flettner’s calculation, the mechanism of the new model extended the gear life for almost about ten years.

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